A recent issue of Futurist Update, the World Future Society's monthly e-mailed newsletter, invited readers to explain why it is important to pay attention to trends. Most respondents identified a tangible professional or personal payoff for trend watching, which can be summarized as follows:
1. Get investment ideas--and save money: "We are a group of angel investors. The futurist membership has given us insight into ideas or firms we are considering for funding. You have saved us money." Carl Meyering, The Meyering Corporation (Detroit metro area).
2. Get early warnings: "I am interested in watching for new trends for the same reason that I watch for traffic in both directions before I cross the street. I want to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid approaching disasters." Charlotte Cowling, Bellevue, Washington.
3. Get confidence: "I'm using trend information in energy, food, and living preferences to …